Green Card Through Employment
Qualifying for Green Card Through Employment has some limitations.
All categories are limited by quotas, with longer waiting periods for people from China, Mexico, the Philippines and India compare to other nationalities.
- Employment Fist Preference
- Employment Second Preference
- Employment Third Preference
In order to qualify for a Green Card Through Employment you must:
- Have a job offer from a U.S. employer
- Must have the correct background in terms of education, work experience for the job you have been offered.
- There must be no qualified American willing or able to take the job. This rule does not apply to categories of Green Cards where Labor Certification in not required.
The immigration process begins when an employer submits an immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) to the service center of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) having jurisdiction over the nurse’s place of intended employment. The petition must be accompanied by Labor Department form ETA-9089, by a posting notice, a prevailing wage determination and by various other documents. The petition should also be accompanied by a check for filing fees.
The USCIS sends the approved visa petition to the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The nurse (or her attorney) receives a “fee bill” asking for all government processing fees to be paid in advance of processing her application and those of her immediate family members. After the fees are paid, the NVC forwards a packet to the nurse or her attorney containing biographical information forms to be completed by her and her family members, and a list of documents which must be submitted.
The RN, or her attorney, sends the signed and completed forms and documents to the NVC which then schedules an appointment for an Immigrant Visa for the RN and her family at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy where they will have their interviews for permanent residence. At this interview, the government will examine various documents including:
- Applications for Immigrant Visas
- Police Clearances
- Birth Certificates
- Marriage Certificate, if any
- Divorce or Death Certificate of Spouse, if any
- Valid Passports
- Medical Examinations
- Recent job offer letter (or employment contract)
- Financial information regarding employer
- Government filing fees
- VisaScreen Certificate
Temporary Visas for Nurses
Although most RNs do not qualify for temporary working visas, it is possible to obtain temporary visas or work permits for nurses in the following categories:
Trade NAFTA Work Permits (TN Status) – For Canadian and Mexican Citizens Only
U.S. employers may apply for registered nurses who are citizens of Canada and Mexico to work in temporary “TN” status.
They may obtain Trade NAFTA (“TN”) status if:
- They have an offer of employment from a U.S. employer for a period not to exceed three years;
- They are licensed in Canada/Mexico and in the state of intended employment;
- They are in possession of a VisaScreen certificate;
- They have a proof of Canadian or Mexican citizenship; and
- They pay a small fee to enter the U.S.
For Canadian citizens, TN status may be renewed on a yearly basis either by having the nurse reenter the U.S. with the documents listed above, or by requesting an extension of TN status from the USCIS.
While RNs who are Canadian citizens may obtain TN status without obtaining a visa or a petition, RNs who are citizens of Mexico must apply for TN visas at a U.S. consulate in Mexico only after their U.S. employers have obtained the approval of a TN petition for them in the U.S.
A TN nurse is not supposed to have any intention of remaining permanently in the U.S. This becomes an issue if a TN nurse decides to apply for permanent residence in the U.S.